by Steven Ertelt
January 3, 2005
Kansas City, KS (LifeNews.com) — A woman who is accused of strangling a mother, cutting her open and stealing her eight-month old unborn child will remain in jail while awaiting indictment on the charges. Attorneys for Lisa M. Montgomery waived her right to a preliminary hearing and did not contest her remaining in jail.
Montgomery, a 36 year-old woman from Melvern, Kansas, has not yet entered a plea in the case, which is expected to go before a grand jury this month.
Should the grand jury return an indictment, Montgomery will be arraigned and enter a plea.
Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Maughmer appointed public defenders on Tuesday to represent Montgomery and asked her if she was aware of the charges against her.
She indicated that she was aware of the charges, which stem from the December 16 death of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant at the time. When authorities found Stinnett, she had been cut open, her unborn child was missing, and the umbilical cord had been severed.
Montgomery confessed to police officials that she strangled Stinnett at her Missouri home and took the baby with her. She later told her husband and children that she had given birth.
Stinnett could be in jail for life or receive the death penalty if convicted.
The baby, Victoria Jo Stinnett, survived the attack and is now living with her father after spending a weekend at a local hospital for evaluation.
The case is drawing further attention to the violence committed against pregnant women. The Montgomery trial follows closely on the heels of the conviction of Scott Peterson in the deaths of his wife and eight-month old unborn baby Conner.